Global Missiology English, Vol 1, No 16 (2018)

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Honor-Shame Cultural Theory: Antecedents and Origins - by Walter "Bud" Simon

Walter "Bud" Simon - PhD Student, Asbury Theological Seminary; TMS Global, Mission


Honor-shame cultural orientation is a rising concern in missiological conversations. The concept that the gospel needs to be understood through a cultural lens of honor-shame, which shapes the interpretation, communication, and indeed content of the message, has become a growing interest in missiology. With seventy-five percent of the world's population identifying with an honor-shame worldview, greater understanding will help impact receptivity to the gospel. This article explores the origins and antecedents of honor-shame orientation in cultural anthropology by tracing the earliest works and discussions. The article concludes with implications for further research.